In anticipation of Constitution Day (September 17), TAH invites you to take a look through our Constitutional Convention Online Exhibit, one of four Online Exhibits on the American Founding. This exhibit contains a vast amount of information and documents related to the internal workings of the Convention, which are important to consider when reading the document released on 17 September 1787. Below are links to some of the major sections of the exhibit, and some places to get started with it.
- The Call for the Grand Convention – Professor Gordon Lloyd explains the reasons behind the Convention, starting with the work that the Second Continental Congress did to create the first formal government between the colonies, under the Articles of Confederation.
- Major Themes at the Convention – 12 themes that shaped the Convention as a whole.
- The Convention as a Four-Act Drama – broken into four acts and multiple scenes, this chronological arrangement casts the Convention as consisting of four separate, distinct “acts,” in which certain issues are addressed, tensions arise, and solutions are found.
- Day-By-Day Summary of the Convention – taken from James Madison’s notes, use this to find exactly what was discussed, by whom, and when during the Convention.
- Resources on the Delegates – get to know the men who attended the Convention, by state, political experience, occupation, and age.
- Professor Gordon Lloyd’s Suggestions for Navigating the Exhibit – the inside perspective on what’s included and how to move through it all in an orderly way.
We invite you to use this Exhibit as a research tool to help with your lesson preparation, with students in class and for their own research, and for finding new resources to use with students.
We also offer three other Exhibits on the American Founding, as well as other historical exhibits, all of which can be found here.